Sunday family dinner with my crew is one of my favourite things. I always love that sleepy, slightly more subdued chat that comes about on a Sunday afternoon. I love my friends when they are load and funny and cracking me up, but I really enjoy when we are that bit quieter just chewing the fat and enjoying being together. I always think Sunday dinner is a time for the people you love and I am always pleased to spend it with my posse.
We are all massive foodies so you can imagine how disappointed we get when we have a bad family dinner, like our last one at Seoul. Depressed doesn’t even come close to covering how we feel about bad food.
After spending a few weeks licking our wounds after our bad food outing, Austen decided to man up and suggest that we try somewhere new for a family dinner. Brave man after our last dreadful dinner! The suggestion was made and we all agreed we were going to take the plunge and try out Chinatown.
Okay so if you have no idea where Chinatown is I don’t blame you, it’s a bit hidden away. But if you have ever travelled on the M8 westbound towards the Kingston Bridge you have seen it. The restaurant is attached to the red Chinese supermarket beside the old stow college. I remember driving past it when I was young on the way to see Hearts play at Ibrox and being completely obsessed with going, because it always looked like the coolest place on earth with their pretty colourful gate.
When talking about the decor at Chinatown the first thing that springs to mind is the quite large and spectacular chandler. Not only was it a twinkly masterpiece but it was surrounded by swathes of purple satin. It was awfully fancy and not all what I expected to find there. I honestly couldn’t tell you too much else about the vibe because I was so memorised by the light. Although I would say it is possibly more of a casual weeknight restaurant rather than a dressed up weekend spot.
It was a nice enough environment and I was happy to spend a few hours there on a Sunday afternoon.
The staff were neither friendly nor unfriendly, they simply came took our order and then quickly brought us both food and drink. I have no major comments to make on the staff really.
After checking out the menus we decided to order from the Dim Sum menu which is available until 5pm, because we are all a little bit nuts about dim sum – well except Mr G he ordered from the Al la carte menu. It was decided that Austen, Trudie, Rocco and I would order 3 dishes each and then just share everything.
Now that’s 12 dishes so rather than go into heaps of detail on each I’m going to just give you the edited highlight – first off I liked virtually everything, and the ones I didn’t like was purely a personal taste thing.
Right here goes …………
Scallop & Prawn Dumplings – these lovely little parcels were really good, plump little dumplings stuffed full of nice chunks of prawn and scallop. Really enjoyed these.
Shanghai Mini Buns – these were nice enough but they did get lost a little bit in the crowd of stuff we had so I can’t really remember that much about them.
Char Sui Buns – absolutely delicious, the bun was light and fluffy and the filling was so flavourful and tangy.
Beef Ginger and Spring Onion Deep Fried Dumplings – one of my favorites, the taste of ginger and spring onion really came over well and the beef was good.
Chicken and Mushroom Buns – similar to the Char Sui Buns, great bun and the filling was excellent.
Satay Beef Dumplings – this sauce was amazing and had so much depth – nutty, slightly salted and meaty. Couldn’t tell you much about the dumplings because we were all so obsessed with the sauce.
Beef Cheung Fun – hated this, totally not my thing at all. Hated the slimy texture, the boys wolfed them down tho so this is purely a personal taste thing.
Prawn Dumplings with Salad Cream – brilliant dish! It’s kind of similar to a prawn wanton but better. I order this purely out of interest but actually it turned out to be a big hit. This is a must order dish.
Char Sui Cheung Fun – see about, never even touched these.
Pan Fried Scallop and Veg Dumplings – I enjoyed the filling but never really got the taste of scallop at all from these. They were cooked well tho, the dumplings were smooth and soft inside and crispy on the outside just no real scallop taste.
Crispy Fried Squid – really really good, heaped pile of freshly fried squid which was light, seasoned well and perfectly cooked.
Mixed Meat Dumplings – enjoyed these hugely, similarly to the scallop & prawn dumplings they were packed full of filling and were delicious.
For me the must try dishes were the Prawn Dumplings with Salad Cream, Char Sui Buns, Crispy Fried Squid, Satay Beef Dumplings and Beef Ginger and Spring Onion Deep Fried Dumplings.
Phew, like I said this is just a small snippet of what I could say about each dish. I really enjoyed it all…well except the minging Cheung Fun (BOAK!!!)
I think 3 dishes per person is actually perfectly proportioned. When we placed the order we did think that we would have to order more because it wasn’t going to be enough, but we were absolutely stuffed. In fact Trudie and I bailed out about ⅔ of the way through the food because there was so much.
After splitting the bill 5 ways we were most pleased with our £16.60 per person cost. We had a lot of food for that and it all tasted brilliant.
This was maybe my first trip down to Chinatown but I promise it won’t be my last. The food was excellent, the service was fast and they have the best chandelier I have ever seen. Loved it!